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Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mark Shields, has said that statistical data from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has shown a reduction in murders by some 25 per cent for the year-to-date, when compared to the same period in 2005.
“In the last couple of months, the police, with the assistance of communities .has been able to reduce murder by approximately 25 per cent this year, which in terms of lives, is probably over 200 people less dead this year than there were last year,” DCP Shields informed.
His remarks came yesterday (April 25) at the official opening of the new offices for Jamaica Yellow Pages at 48 Constant Spring Road in Kingston.
The decrease in homicide statistics comes against the implementation of the JCF’s eight-point murder reduction action plan, which was unveiled by Police Commissioner, Lucius Thomas in January.
Speaking further, DCP Shields said the matter of solving crime and violence was not solely the responsibility of the police force. “It is the responsibility that we all have. We have an individual responsibility in terms of if we witness crimes, to make statements and ensure that people are locked up for crime,” he asserted.
He congratulated citizens of a community, who recently appeared before the court as witnesses in a case involving a community leader, who was subsequently incarcerated for committing a double murder.
“That’s what people have to do,” DCP Shields stressed, “because if we are going to make Jamaica a better place, we can put all the good policing techniques in the world into place, but at the end of the day, it is about the community consenting to work with us in a partnership in order that we can bring about peace and tranquility in Jamaica.”
DCP Shields said the JCF was committed to bringing 21st Century policing to Jamaica through the introduction of the Integrated Ballistic Information System and automated fingerprinting, “and hopefully, if the government agrees, we will have a national database of DNA as well.”
Yesterday’s ceremony also saw Jamaica Yellow Pages committing funding for the Peace and Love in Society (PALS) Programme over the next three years.
Chief Operating Officer for Jamaica Yellow Pages, David Roberts, said that the sponsorship would finance the salary of a fundraising manager, who will be responsible for generating well-needed income to support the organisation’s initiatives across the island, thereby expanding the impact and reach to the wider society.
“Jamaica Yellow Pages will be the sponsor at all PALS major fundraising events over the three-year sponsorship period, and the primary goal of these major events is to raise funds to continue and expand the work of PALS and their strategic alliances to ensure a better, safer Jamaica,” Mr. Roberts said.
“We recognise that PALS plays a significant role in spreading a message of peace and love in Jamaica and we feel it is our responsibility to assist however we can,” he added.